Is there a problem that couldn’t be solved efficiently by a quantum computer, but could be solved efficiently by some other computer allowed by the laws of physics? Science with Sam, Llamas may have been buried alive in ritual sacrifice by the Incas, Robot trained in a game-like simulation performs better in real life. A zebra’s stripes might help to hide it in the tall grass or dead wood of an African savanna. It’s the Windows of cloud computing. But the best answer seems to be... stripes discourage flies. Lions, the zebras’ primary predator, might be colorblind, which would reinforce this idea. Is there anything beyond quantum computing? A recent one comes from scientists in Hungary and Sweden. These scientists point out that horseflies (tabanids) “deliver nasty bites, carry disease and distract grazing animals from feeding.” The team asked themselves how the zebra’s stripes might make them less appealing to bloodsuckers, such as horseflies. Zebra Stripes isn’t a piece of popular science writing, but an entrancing monograph that revels even in the minor details – from descriptions of how Caro used Photoshop to measure the stripes, through the number of paces he took in the bush wearing a zebra pelt to record how many insects settled on him, right down to the nitty-gritty of the statistical tests he used to make sense of his data. Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. The health benefits of sunlight: Can vitamin D help beat covid-19? Meanwhile, many other explanations for zebras’ stripes remain. The team found that the striped patterns attracted fewer flies as the stripes became narrower, with the narrowest stripes attracting the fewest horseflies. The microbiome: How bacteria regulate your health. “At every step, the book pulls aside the curtain, revealing to the public how science is done”. In Zebra Stripes, Tim Caro, a professor of wildlife biology at the University of California, Davis, sets out to test all the hypotheses explaining this most mysterious yet obvious phenomenon. Then gradually they didn't need too. Bottom line: There are many explanations for a zebra’s stripes. This explanation, as it turns out, is one of many possibilities. The basic idea is that black stripes would absorb heat in … A lion might have trouble picking out a single zebra from a herd of zebras fleeing in front of it, as the great never-ending game of hunter versus hunted plays out on the savanna. Now some European scientists have presented a mundane explanation for this miracle of nature, saying that zebras’ stripes exist to stave off blood-sucking horseflies. It is likely that, with so much in nature, a zebras’ stripes evolved in response to multiple factors. But, overall, the conclusion was that: … zebras have evolved a coat pattern in which the stripes are narrow enough to ensure minimum attractiveness to [horseflies]. They didn't think that he was pretty any more since he had black blurry stripes all over him. So they let him go. Sign up to read our regular email newsletters, Why zebras have stripes has long been a mystery. In the end, the data converge on a single explanation: the role of biting flies (this is not a spoiler – the media pounced on it in 2014 after Caro’s paper was published in Nature Communications).